In the last post, I talked about environmental estrogen and gave some suggestions that you can implement to cut down on your exposure to it. In this post, I will talk about supporting your elimination of excess estrogen once it is in your body.
Estrogen is made by the ovaries, placenta (in pregnancy) and your fat cells (post menopause). Estrogen is metabolized by enzymes in the liver and is eventually changed to a glucuronic acid complex which can leave the liver via the bile and pass into your intestine. Foods to include that support this conversion in your body include red raspberries, high fiber (wheat bran, psyllium),oranges and apples. Diets that support a healthy metabolite of estrogen (C2) include one that is low in fat and high in fiber. A diet that promotes unhealthy estrogen metabolites(C16, C4) would be one that is high in fat, high in sugar, and low in protein. This is why it is so important to focus on diet when looking at any health imbalance.
Once the breakdown products of estrogen pass into your intestine, you need healthy bowel function to eliminate it out of your body. Women who have high levels of an enzyme called beta-glucuronidase (made by certain bacteria that colonize your intestine) can cause free estrogen levels to be reabsorbed back into the bloodstream through the intestinal walls. Diets that are higher in saturated fat and meat will increase these bacteria which we don’t want so minimize these substances in your diet. If you are constipated, make sure the constipation is treated because it could indirectly affect your hormone balance.
Other foods which are champions when it comes to balancing female hormones include the brassica family (kale, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, etc). Eat these foods at least three times per week. These foods contain indole-3-carbinol which helps promotes the conversion of estrogen to healthy metabolites. Eat them raw or lightly steamed to obtain the best benefit.
Please book in an appointment to talk more about balancing female hormones. There are many herbs and homoepathic medicines that I use in my practice that can support women’s health as well as specific nutrients. Please refer to The Natural Medicine Guide to Breast Cancer by Sat Dharam Kaur, ND for a thorough book on women’s health if you want to learn more.